Saturday 22nd Feb, 2020

Port of Melbourne gets green light for $125M upgrade

Port of Melbourne. Photo: Port of Melbourne Corporation
Photo: Port of Melbourne Corporation

The Victorian Government has approved a $125 million proposal to improve freight infrastructure at the Port of Melbourne.

A new on-dock rail has been green lit, as part of a the State Government’s plan to continue driving economic growth at the port.

Minister for Ports and Freight Melissa Horne approved a proposal by Port of Melbourne Operations that will see an investment of $125 million in new rail infrastructure.

Improving rail access to the Port of Melbourne is a legislated condition of its lease, with its delivery part of a wider push to improve rail freight across Victoria. Each year the port contributes $6 billion to the Victorian economy.

The State Government is also supporting the Port Rail Shuttle Network to connect freight hubs in Melbourne’s north and west to the port. This project would include new intermodal terminals planned at Truganina and Beveridge, new automated signalling for faster rail freight to Geelong Port and improvements in the regional rail freight network.

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To make on-dock rail possible, the Port of Melbourne will introduce a $9.75 per twenty-foot equivalent unit charge on imported containers. The funds raised from the charge will directly deliver new sidings and connections for the rail project.

The charge keeps the port competitive with Port Botany and won’t apply to exporters from the port.

The Victorian Government will closely monitor the progress of the project, scheduled for completion in 2023, and keep looking at ways improve port pricing and access, in turn keeping Victoria’s regional exports cost-competitive and growing the state’s economy.